I agreed to two dental implants for a lower snap-on denture. My dentist said my jawbone had shrunk from having all my teeth missing for 15 years, so he needed to do bone grafting. We waited two months, and then during my second follow-up appointment, my dentist said that the bone graft failed. I am disappointed that I must start the process all over. I know my dentist has placed implants for at least a hundred patients. Although I didn’t think about it before, I wonder if he is not is good with bone grafting. Although I like my dentist, I hate the thought of another bone graft failure. I don’t know what to ask you, but I’m nervous and want some insight into the issue. – Thank you. Isaac from TN
Thank you for contacting our office.
We understand your concern and hesitation. Although many dentists have implant training and place implants frequently, fewer dentists have lots of bone grafting experience.
It is good that your dentist is upfront with you and did not try to place your implants anyway. Any implant denture—including a snap-on denture—requires good bone support. Otherwise, both the graft and implant will fail.
What to Do After Bone Graft Failure
If you have experienced bone graft failure and are hesitant about letting your dentist try again, consider these options:
- Talk to your dentist about your concerns – It may be easier to decide what to do if you ask your dentist how much bone grafting experience he has acquired over the years. You can also ask if your dentist knows what caused the bone grafting failure and what he will to do prevent it from recurring.
- Ask for a referral – You can ask your dentist to refer you to a periodontist (implant specialist) or an oral surgeon for grafting and implant placement.
- Get a second opinion – You can get a second opinion from a dentist with advanced implantology training who regularly performs bone grafting procedures.
Each time you experience bone graft failure, you must wait for the grafting sites to heal before another attempt. Weigh the pros and cons and do what you think is best for your oral health. Best wishes for a resolution and being able to enjoy your new implant denture.
Steven Brooksher, DDS is a cosmetic and implant dentist in Baton Rouge, LA. Read about his credentials and visit his smile gallery. It will help you determine what to look for in a dentist in your area.